A majority of Taiwanese are satisfied with their quality of life, work environment and family finances, according to the latest poll conducted by the National Development Council (NDC).
According to the poll, 82.1 percent of respondents were satisfied with their quality of life — an increase of nearly 6 percentage points from a poll conducted by the council last year — while 14.7 percent said they were dissatisfied with their quality of life.
In contrast to a poll conducted last year after the Sunflower movement, the latest poll data showed general views of living quality had increased.
However, items concerning safety in public spaces and safety on public transportation saw a decrease, indicating that public opinion has been affected by two knife attacks. On May 21 last year, 21-year-old student Cheng Chieh (鄭捷) attacked passengers on Taipei’s MRT metro rail system, causing four deaths and injuring 22 people. On July 20, 27-year-old Kuo Yen-chun (郭彥君) used a kitchen knife to slash four people as he walked down the escalator at the Zhongshan MRT Station.
The poll found 71.9 percent of respondents said they still felt safe in public and 65.3 percent said they still felt safe using public transportation, the NDC said. The poll showed 82.5 percent of respondents felt safe near their homes, a 2.5 percentage point increase over last year, it said.
When asked about satisfaction levels on their current work performance, 57 percent of respondents said they were satisfied, with only 10.5 percent saying they were dissatisfied.
The poll also found 70.6 percent of respondents were satisfied with their family finances — an increase of nearly 10 percentage points — with 88.1 percent saying they were satisfied with their family lives.
Meanwhile, 30.6 percent of respondents were unemployed at the time of the poll.
National Federation of Independent Trade Unions executive secretary Liang Chia-wei (梁家瑋) said the poll results were far removed from actual public perceptions. Liang said that the poll might have used leading questions, adding that it was obvious political manipulation by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.
Citing Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics data, Liang said more than 40 percent of workers made less than NT$30,000 a month. After deducting rent, water and electricity fees, there is not much left to have a “satisfactory life,” Liang said, adding he “instinctively” felt the NDC figures were questionable because workers face low wages, long work hours and unfriendly work environments.
People First Party Deputy Secretary-General Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) also criticized the NDC poll, asking sarcastically whether the poll was focused on the living quality of high-ranking officials.
He said the average citizen makes a very low income and is burdened with ridiculous levels of debt.
The telephone poll was conducted between June 29 and June 30, using a random number generator. The survey, which polled Taiwanese aged 20 and above, received 1,076 valid responses and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Additional reporting by Huang Pang-ping
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